Friday 30 January 2009

The Surprise Party

Twelve Dancing Princesses
Illustrated by H.J. Ford
The Red Fairy Book (1890)

My mother was overwhelmed by your kind, kind messages.

The friendly people of Blogland
are not yet real to her as they are to me.
She sees only the words, flat on the screen.
I see smiling faces in Melbourne and Sydney,
Abingdon, Cambridge and York,
New York, Maryland, the Ozarks and Seattle,
and places that I do not know of.

She wanted to know why you had all written to her
and I tried to explain that...
well, that is what we do in our virtual village.
We get up in the morning and see the messages
from the heat of the Melbourne summer
and then in the evening we read of the snows
of the American winter.

Sometimes the news is wonderful and life-changing
and sometimes the news is sad.
And on those days we share the joy or the pain.
Most of the time it is just chatter,
people passing the time of day.
Making each other smile,
taking a moment to notice and appreciate
the wonder of the world around us.

This is what my mother does every day
in her real country village.
The cars stop in the small lanes
and friends lean out of the window
to pass the time of day.
She will chat to the postman who brings the letters
and the lady in the village shop
and hear about their children and grandchildren
even if she has never met them.

Our worlds are not so very different.

And so she sent me her first ever email:

Subject: Message to My Daughter

Hi Alice This is a miracle
I find it easier to write to you,
but I will persevere.



Christy said...

oh my gosh that is so cute!!! It took years for my mom to write me an email and she still doesn't know how to leave comments on blogs.

Anonymous said...

A little perserverance and you will flourish - it's how we all start out.

RW said...

my eyes have welled.

Lynn said...

I got wistful reading about your mum's little country village, until I realized I was living in one myself. Undoubtedly not as cute, but full of people who know me and love my children. Good to remember!

Such a happy post - thank you!

trash said...

WHat a lovely explanation of our blogging world - we are in a village. What a lovely thought. I shall smile for the day now.

Ali said...

On the rare occasons my mother e-mails me, she writes as if she's sending a telegram!

But your observations on the blogging village are just right.

dragonfly said...

I feel so lucky to live in a time where a few taps on the keyboard zaps all those miles between friends away and opens up doors and lives otherwise unseen.

You always sum everything up so beautifully, Alice.

Mary said...

You have written a lovely summary of why we all continue to keep in touch this way - chatting some days or sharing deep joy or pain on others.

I love that your mother emailed!

My mother is very into texting! Much to my surprise!!

Unknown said...

Oh Alice, you placed a lump in my throat. A perfect post, you put it so well.

Doolallysally said...

Well said Alice! I wish I could write like you however. I love your Mum's email. I can see I'm not the only person to be moved by this story. Thank heavens for blogging! Love Sal x
ps: I'm tagging you - its an easy one though - the 4th photo from the 4th post - have you had that one yet?! x

Anonymous said...

Oh Alice you sum it up so well. That is why I love blogging so much!

I like you Mums e-mail, My Mom leaves messages on my blog once and a while. She finally figured out how. :)

Gina said...

So beautifully put Alice. It is a lovely thought that blogging is like a village... because it is! A wonderful village full of thoughtful caring friends.

driftwood said...

just perfect Alice, and I love how living in this wonderful blogging village allows us to meet people who we would never meet in a village shop, and yet become good neighbours. xx

Melody said...


blackbird said...

I love that she's in our little circle now.

dottycookie said...

Exactly right, and perfectly put - the blogging village. I do talk to the real people in my real village too, but somehow, blogs reach a different part of me.

My mum occasionally leaves comments on my blog, but she's more likely to phone and tell me she's read something I've written!

kristina said...

So lovely! K x

BreadBox said...

Happy times, when the children teach the parents:-)
Welcome to the e-world, MrsM's Mum, and we look forward to welcoming you to your very own corner of the blogosphere (if spheres can have corners) very soon:-)


silverpebble said...

How wonderful - I do so relish the way you express things. The parallels are obvious but few would have thought of it that way. As Val has expressed, the real-life village chats are somehow different, but no less surprising and life-enriching. The like-mindedness and great kindness I've found in blogland has left me astonished sometimes. Emma xx

Ruthie Redden said...

I came across your blog quite by accident, began to read & find i love it here. Beautiful words & how very true, this blogging world! such an amazing, place to discover. *ruthie*

Anonymous said...

Oh, Alice, as you can imagine these posts make me cry. It is nice that your mom is now in our little circle.